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November 8, 2023 11:15AM

Where Are You on Your Real Estate Technology Journey?

Staff Member Josh Malinoff
Article by
Principal

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One of the most common mistakes we see real estate businesses make is the use of outdated, ineffective, or insufficient technological solutions for their needs. The right technology can revolutionize your processes, automate time-consuming manual tasks, and save your organization huge amounts of time and money. 

However, if you are still using manual or offline processes, knowing where to start with implementing appropriate technologies can be a challenge. That’s one of the reasons we created the above infographic illustrating the process and the steps through which you will need to move in order to leverage real estate technologies to their fullest potential.

Is Your Technology Underutilized? 

Having worked with many clients over the years, we have identified that most real estate companies have not fully utilized the technology available to them. In addition, many of them have invested in technology that is either not utilized or dramatically underutilized.

This means that, if you are in that position, you are in good company and many of your peers are in exactly the same position. 

Properly utilizing the appropriate technologies can give you a competitive advantage in the market and allow you to outperform your peers. REdirect is here to be your partner in this journey, guiding you through every step from underutilization to full automation.

Level 1

As we have said, the vast majority of real estate companies are underutilizing technology or still using systems that have surpassed their useful life span. 

Because of this underutilization or continued use of legacy systems, you may be performing workarounds outside the system (for example, spreadsheets and manual processes). Many of these processes are entirely possible to integrate and automate with a little know-how and the right tools. 

Many companies at this level do not have the benefit of an outside view of their position and they may think that they are further through the process than they really are. They also may not understand the true impact that their underutilization of technology is having on their business in terms of time, resources, and cost.

Without in-house experts, companies at this level are often relying on individuals without the appropriate expertise to influence, manage, and maintain the systems. Because these individuals are not particularly system literate, they may not be fully cognizant of the opportunities available to them. 

Around 50% of the companies we encounter are currently at this level. As real estate technology consultants, our goal is to help companies move up this pyramid by providing education and benchmarking as well as identifying the gaps and opportunities to improve utilization of the technology.

Moving to Level 2 

When we work with a company, we begin by evaluating its current position and identifying the gaps that represent opportunities. Depending on the materiality of those gaps, a replacement of the system may be warranted. We also often find that there is a tremendous opportunity to implement enhancements or recommendations to improve the current system. 

We ensure that the organization has a modern ERP tool such as Yardi, MRI Software, or RealPage and is utilizing its capabilities to their fullest extent.

Once we have moved the client from a legacy system to a modern one, or from an underutilized system to one being used at its fullest capacity, we can begin to optimize use of the platform to really realize its potential. 

Some clients may also need to use additional solutions, some of which may sit outside the primary system. By looking at the business holistically, we can identify and support the client in using other tools to create a full digital stack addressing all of the client’s KPIs. 

Around 30% of companies have reached this level. 

Level 3: Optimized and Integrated Systems 

Once a company has reached this level, we often find it is looking for further recommendations as to how to fully optimize the platform’s capabilities and seamlessly integrate with supporting systems. This often requires a business process review, looking at the company’s internal processes and aligning them to the appropriate technology.

At this stage, our focus is on building an optimization strategy to take full advantage of the software in which a company has already invested. We will look for opportunities to streamline the workflows and to take advantage of the native capabilities of that software—capabilities that many of our clients may not even be aware is available to them.

Level 4: Automation and the Top of the Pyramid 

Finally, at the top of the pyramid, we find automation. Only around 5% of real estate companies have reached this level, making them—in our view—fully optimized. While this might sound daunting, it simply means that the other 95% have a tremendous opportunity to do more with what they have and to further automate their manual processes. 

At REdirect, our goal is to bring all our clients to this level. For any individual organization, this could be a multiyear journey. Our job is to prepare the road map to get you there, and to support you on every step of that journey. 

Once an organization has reached this level, it is taking full advantage of the automations available both within its platform and outside it.

REdirect: Your Partner in More Effective Automation

Real estate technology systems such as Yardi, MRI Software, and RealPage have the ability to automate many workflows and reporting packages. 

A real estate company typically spends a tremendous amount of time outside its main system, working on functions such as logging in to websites to gather information and then making sure that the core system is updated. Reconciling bank accounts, for example, might involve logging in to hundreds of banking portals and spending a tremendous amount of time matching transactions. 

Our REdirect automation services practice helps companies to reach a fully automated state, using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate redundant, time-consuming, and tedious processes.

We understand that technology is constantly evolving and the partners with whom we work are continually making improvements and developments to their platforms. This is why REdirect supports clients on an ongoing basis, helping them to evolve alongside their technologies. 

REdirect Assist, our help desk support service, allows your business to become more efficient and leaner by providing a flexible, agile approach to support. While our support services can be utilized at any stage of your real estate technology journey, we find that most companies begin to exercise this—and enjoy its true potential—in the latter two stages of their journey up the pyramid. 

Examining your technology journey gives you an opportunity to look at what is really core to your business and leverage your technology stack to meet those goals. 

Working with a real estate technology-focused consultancy such as REdirect allows you to refocus on your core business functions while supporting your users, staying abreast of the latest technological solutions and optimizations, and building in the backups and redundancies that will keep you moving forward no matter what. We are uniquely well-placed to support businesses in both optimizing the current state of being and looking into the future as the industry at large evolves.

 

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About the Author

Josh Malinoff

Josh joined the REdirect team as a Principal in 2007. He brings over 28 years of real estate technology expertise to REdirect and is often a go-to source for any complex projects.  

 

Josh spearheaded REdirect’s involvement in Investment Management software, creating a dedicated practice group focusing on the growing …

REdirect’s resources are real assets to us here at AIP; they are both technically strong and very responsive to our needs.

Pete Rottman – CFO

Arizona Industrial Properties

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